Despite conservative hysteria, the world just became a much safer place

The Iran Nuclear Accord in Vienna concluded on Tuesday with an agreement between participating powers intended to act in both fostering economic development in Iran and deterring latent desire on the part of the Iranian military apparatus to obtain a nuclear weapon in light of its current stockpile.

British Foreign Secretary, Phillip Hammond, commented on the conclusion of the talks “The big prize here is that, as Iran comes out of the isolation of the last decades and is much more engaged with Western countries, Iranians hopefully begin to travel in larger numbers again, Western companies are able to invest and trade with Iran, there is an opportunity for an opening now.”

Hillary Clinton also made a statement  “I think this is an important step that puts the lid on Iran’s nuclear programs […] It will enable us turn our attention, as it must, to do what we can with other partners in the region and beyond to try to prevent and contain Iran’s other bad actions.”

Iran currently has a stockpile that can produce, to quote president Obama, up to ten nuclear weapons. Generally speaking this is a source for concern among conservatives and liberals alike, as long as Iran is portrayed as an irreparably corrupt and irresponsible regime.

If one considers for a moment the possibility of economic cooperation and mutual interdependence, which gives implicit legitimacy to states participating within an international system, with Iran, then the threat of war looks far more abstract and far less immediate.

Problems also persist with respect to covert or untraceable support, on the part of the Iranian power structure, of terrorist groups. If Iran were to produce a nuclear weapon or if some unintended security breach were to occur, and, if, subsequently such a weapon (or nuclear materials) were to somehow arrive in the hands of such a terrorist group, what would the implications be?

There are varied stipulations contained in the agreement, including:

I. Spent fuel from nuclear facilities to be shipped out of the country.

II. An absolute ban on the construction of heavy water facilities for at least 15 years.

III. No production of enriched uranium for an extended period.

IV. Permanent ban on the acquisition and/or production of nuclear weapons.

The accord has, as already demonstrated above in part, drawn significant heaps of criticism from many on the right side of the aisle. Lindsey Graham criticized the agreement “This is a terrible deal. It will make everything worse and I live in fear that we have set in motion a decade of chaos.”

Certainly it seems unlikely that the next decade will be defined by chaos, barring of course some kind of large war or other type of environmental catastrophe. The operative variable here, really, is the statistical probability of a war, which has, fairly evidently, gone down drastically since the talks in Vienna concluded.

Democrats should come out of this accord fairly optimistic. The Obama Administration has made it an essential part of its foreign policy to “elevate” its partnership with the Gulf states. Furthermore, moving the region into diplomatic and economic partnership and cooperation will become necessary to move things towards what the president defined as “Peaceful resolution of conflict” with Iran.


  1. One thing could be made clear. Here is the agreement. The Iranian hierarchy can do one of two things: honor the agreement, or not honor the agreement. If the Iranian Government does honor the requirements, the progress intended for its compliance is predictable. The question of importance is, what will the United States do in the event of violations? What will, or could happen as a result? Those are valid concerns, and I don’t hear much in the way of a public explanation of how the Obama administration, or any other will react in the face of any non- compliance……..

  2. The right wing demands total disarming of Iran’s nuclear capabilties, and if Netanyahu had his way, they’d provoke Iran into a war right now, something the GOP can latch on to for defense billions in profits, tie it in with religious brainwashing and quite possibly start WWIII.
    While nobody in their right frame of mind wants to see Iran or any rogue state or organization ever get their hands on nuclear weaponry, it may be impossible to stop such weapons from getting built covertly or imported illegally. Can the world depend on Iran’s word to keep their end of the agreement, and what power will be available should violations occur? We already started a war that has ruined Iraq and looks like another war will be bandied about thanks to ISIS after the US, under the criminal leadership of Dick Cheney and Rumsfeld, conducted a religious genocide, failed to secure Iraq, but made billions in profits from war profiteering. Bush was there, but I can’t accept that he was anything but a moronic partner who had the passion for war, but was simply too imbecilic to come up with anything on his own.
    This makes me wonder just what gives the U.S. the authority to continue to impose its “special interests” on other nations given the horrific behavior we conduct, and sugar coat for the idiots at home, GOP fans and religious nuts who think waving the flag is justification enough for illegal wars.
    We have put ourselves in a terrible position. While pure isolationism isn’t an answer, our meddling in other affairs that really don’t have much impact on the U.S. is something we can’t seem to stop doing. We can’t rightfully demand total honesty and transparency from Iran or anybody else. We are just as corrupted, dirty and underhanded as any nation has ever been. Overall, this agreement may stymie nuclear progress for a while, but I fear it will collapse. Would you believe a much bigger bully who agrees to stop stealing your lunch money if you give it to him and not a different bully, both who are known to be liars?

    • The war is not meant to be won, it is meant to be continuous. Hierarchical society is only possible on the basis of poverty and ignorance. This new version is the past and no different past can ever have existed. In principle the war effort is always planned to keep society on the brink of starvation. The war is waged by the ruling group against its own subjects and its object is not the victory over either Eurasia or East Asia, but to keep the very structure of society intact.
      George Orwell

    • >>” Can the world depend on Iran’s word to keep their end of the agreement, and what power will be available should violations occur?”
      I don’t know about Iran, but as a native-American, I know just how much to trust the word of the US government: It will keep its word just so long as there isn’t money to be made by breaking their word.

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